Plant fruit trees - Water Wise

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					Randwater            7/10/06                    11:11 AM   Page 34

      Conserving Water, Conserving the Enrironment

                      RAND WATER
                                                                                Grow fruit to sell

     Plant fruit trees
     Grow your own fruit trees for a
     healthy harvest for your family,
     or to sell for extra money

     Deciduousthey don't need much water
                 trees are a good Water
         Wise choice for summer rainfall
     gardens, as
     during the dry winter, when they are
     dormant. It is easy to grow a peach,
     apricot, pear or plum tree – just make
     sure that you choose self-pollinating plants
     or plant the required pollinator as well.                         keeping the soil moist for the roots.
                                                                       Keep the mulch 10cm away from
     How to grow fruit trees                                           the tree trunk. Use grass, bark chips,
     The following steps will give your tree                           pebbles or leaves and keep replacing.
     a good start:                                                   • In the first two years, give each fruit tree
     • Choose a sunny place.                                           1 bucket of manure with 2 handfuls of
     • Make a hole 1m x 1m x 1m. Keep                                  superphosphate fertiliser in August. In
       the fertile topsoil in a separate heap.                         the next two years, give each fruit tree
     • Mix 2 parts topsoil with 1 part compost                         2 buckets of manure and 4 handfuls
       and a cup of superphosphate and                                 of superphosphate. Thereafter, give
       return to the hole with lots of compost.                        3 buckets of manure and 8 handfuls
     • To make deep watering easy, insert a                            of superphosphate per tree. Manure
       pipe in the hole with one end sticking                          should always be well composted
       out before you fill up the hole.                                before using.
     • Cut open the planting bag, remove
       the tree and plant at the same level as                       Choosing your fruit
       it was in the bag. The stem must not be                       • Apricots. Its attractive shape makes
       buried any deeper than it already is.                           the apricot a useful shade tree. The fruit
     • Make a large basin around the tree                              can be eaten fresh, bottled, made into
       to hold water. For the first two years,                         jam or dried. Water in late winter and
       water once a week. Then slow down                               early spring as all apricots ripen in
       to twice, and then once a week.                                 early summer. They are self-pollinating,
     • Put a layer of mulch 10cm deep                                  so a single tree can be planted.
       around the tree that reaches as far as                          Choose from:
       its outermost branches. The roots of a                          – 'Bulida' – ripens in November.
       tree grow out as far as the branches,                           – 'Peeka' – ripens in December.
       so by mulching this area you are                                – 'Bebeko' – ripens in December.

     34 Supplement to SA Gardening Directory 2006/7
Randwater   7/10/06     11:11 AM      Page 35

                                                                                   Conserving Water, Conserving the Enrironment

                                                                                                   RAND WATER

     • Peaches. These can be picked for                   tend to become floury if left to ripen
       six months of the year, depending on               on the trees. Store the fruit in a dark
       the variety, from October to March.                cupboard. Choose from the following:
       In some districts, late frosts can cause           – 'Early Bon Chretien' – ripens in
       damage to early blossoming cultivars,                December/January. Yellow-green
       so choose only late ripening cultivars               skin. Plant also 'Forelle' as a
       in these areas. Harvest them only when               pollinator.
       they are fully ripe. Choose from the               – 'Forelle' – ripens in February/
       following yellow clingstone peaches:                 March. Yellow skin with blush.
       – 'Summer Sun' and 'Goudveld' –                      Plant also 'Keiffer' as a pollinator.
          ripen in November.                              – 'Keiffer' – ripens in Late February/
       – 'Oom Sarel' – ripens in December.                  March. Green skin. Self-pollinating.
       – 'Prof Neethling', 'Impora', Keimoes'
          and 'Kakamas' – ripen in January.             • Plums. The plum dessert varieties are
       – 'Kokstaat' and 'Klara' – ripen in                best for eating, while the small sour
          February.                                       ones are perfect for cooking. Do not
                                                          allow plums to overcrop (especially the
     • Pears. These grow well in areas                    variety 'Methley') as there is a risk that
       where the winters are cold and the                 the branches will break. Rather thin the
       summers are not too hot. However,                  fruits. Choose from the following:
       cultivars such as 'Keiffer', 'Packham's            – 'Methley' and 'Pioneer' – ripen in
       Triumph' and 'Le Conte' bear fairly                   November. Red plum. Self-pollinating.
       well in the higher parts of the Lowveld.           – 'Santa Rosa' – ripens in December.
       The tree bears on the same spurs every                Red plum. Self-pollinating.
       year and, once the required shape is               – 'Sungold' – ripens in January.
       achieved, little pruning is necessary.                Yellow plum. Plant also 'Santa
       Pick pears before they are ripe as they               Rosa' as a pollinator.

     Grow plum trees so that you can harvest the      Pears grow well in areas where the winters are
     fruit for yourself or to sell.                   cold and the summers are not too hot. (Pic: Otto)

                                                   Supplement to SA Gardening Directory 2006/7 35
Randwater            7/10/06                    11:12 AM   Page 36

      Conserving Water, Conserving the Enrironment

                      RAND WATER
                                                                                   Grow fruit to sell

     How to prune fruit trees
     The method of pruning all deciduous fruit trees in their first couple of years is basically
     the same. The first three years of growth are important for establishing the subsequent
     growth patterns and shape of the tree, and correct pruning is essential. Prune your fruit
     trees in June or July.
           As soon as fruit trees reach the age of three, they divide into different groups, each
     requiring a slightly different approach to pruning. The reason is that the different species
     each produce fruit in different ways. For example, apricots produce fruit on spurs and
     peaches on wood that is at least a season old.

                            A                                        B                                C

     A. Pruning a one -year-old                                          and cut just above an outward-facing
     fruit tree                                                          bud. Remove all other growth.
     Deciduous fruit trees bought at a
     nursery are usually one season old.                                 C. Pruning a three-year-old
     Plant as described above. Prune lightly                             fruit tree
     to shape the framework of the tree.                                 The aim of this last formative pruning
                                                                         during the third winter is to establish a
     B. Pruning a two-year-old                                           second framework. This involves selecting
     fruit tree                                                          3 good shoots growing from each of the
     Look closely at the many branches that                              4 or 5 stems chosen the year before.
     have grown during the summer and                                    Prune the selected 3 new shoots on
     identify 4 to 5 good stems which will                               each branch back to a uniform length
     give the tree a cup-shaped structure.                               of 50cm. Take out any diseased or
     Prune these stems to a height of 75cm                               dead wood.

     36 Supplement to SA Gardening Directory 2006/7
Randwater   7/12/06      3:11 PM      Page 37

                                                                                 Conserving Water, Conserving the Enrironment

                                                                                                 RAND WATER

      A drainage pipe for deep                        Fruit fly solution
      watering will                                   Fruit fly can attack your fruit and spoil it.
      give a newly                                    To prevent this happening, make fruit fly
      planted tree
      a good start.
                                                      traps out of plastic bottles filled with
                                                      a liquid bait and hang them in your fruit
                                                      trees when the fruit starts forming. A mesh
                                                      cover over the opening will keep beneficial
                                                      insects, such as bees, from entering
                                                      the trap. To make bait, mix together
                                                      5 tablespoons of brown sugar and
                                                      1 tablespoon of brown vinegar. Heat until
                                                      they boil and then allow to cool. Then
                                                      add 1/2 a mashed over-ripe banana.

                                      Make apricot jam to sell

                                           11/2 kg apricots (8 cups of cut up apricots)
                                             /2 cup water
                                           11/2 kg sugar (61/2 cups)

      Apricots are self-pollinating   Method: Wash the apricots, cut in half and remove the
      plants that can be eaten        pips. Place apricots and water in pan and slowly bring
      fresh, bottled, made into jam
                                                              to boil. Simmer for 20 minutes.
      or dried. (Pic: Simpson)
                                                                Then gradually add the sugar
                                                                to the fruit, while stirring. Boil
                                                                   until the jam sets when a
                                                                    little is tested on a cold
                                                                    plate. This should take
                                                                   about 30 minutes. Pour
                                                                  into sterilised jam jars.

                                                                   Note: Sterilise your jam jars and
                                                                   their lids by putting them into
                                                                   boiling water for 10 minutes just
                                                                   before you fill them with jam.

                                                  Supplement to SA Gardening Directory 2006/7 37